David and I headed to Tel Aviv, Israel on a very long 2-stop plane ride for a brief 5 day trip to explore our new home land and to get what we can done before we move in June.
We got to meet with Tel Aviv University and meet with the Registrar for David’s program, although its too early to register for class in the Fall, but at least this was a way to explore the campus and to help the administration staff see a face when David goes back to enroll and test. TAU is a beautiful campus and only a short walk from where we will be living. Getting to hear David speak Hebrew (I thought pretty fluently, since it’s the first time I have actually heard him speak it for a length of time) I would say, I am SO proud of him. He is taking this opportunity and running with it with full effort!
After visiting the university we were able to explore Jaffo for a day, the weather was wonderful and the food was even better!! The mix of different fresh salads are delicious, and of course so are the falafels and hummus!! There are also cats everywhere; and they are very cute, but when they stare at you so innocently for food, its kinda heartbreaking, but don’t worry these cats are not starving, there is plenty of food for them, either dumpster food or even the cat food people leave out for them.
This cat was tired of staring at me and yawning to prove it.
Joycelyn is going to flip out when she sees them all!
Jaffo with Tel Aviv in the background, simply stunning!
We also explored The Shuck Ha’Carmel of Tel Aviv, AKA the market. Just another spot we fell in love with. The spices, the colors, the kind people all around, kids after school sharing their shekels for candy, just won our hearts
We did a lot of walking, a lot of eating and lots of “just soaking it in.” The Tel Aviv Promenade (tayelet)” is being transformed into an even more beautiful, family friendly, beach boardwalk. It is nearly completed and we were able to walk along it one evening at sunset. There were so many people just out and about, kids riding bikes, kicking soccer balls against the walls, running, working out, eating at one of the many cute, delicious beach cafes, having a local Goldstar beer, a group of kids getting a lesson of how to sail boat or paddle board or playing Matkot (racquet paddleboard game played at the beach, it is the national beach sport in Israel) which is very popular among locals, we of course, bought some and are hoping to get some good practice in before we move. Devin and David are already pretty good at it!
We got to take a tour of the kids’ school campus and meet with the registrar. Then we drove up to Caesarea. We were so lucky to have one of warmest days since we arrived, it was close to 74 degrees!! We toured the Roman Theater, Hippodrome, Aqueduct, in addition to simply walking throughout the ruins which date back approximately 2000 years when it was the provincial capital of the region. It was stunning now; so I cannot imagine how beautiful it would have been then in its full glory. To walk on the same grounds as what we have studied and read in the book of Acts was simply incredible and so surreal.
We ate lunch at a wonderful place on the water and then discovered the old port where we could walk out on. I found some beautiful pieces of sea glass and we took a few fun pictures. Saw some people snorkeling, so next time we will bring our gear!!
On our last day we traveled to Jerusalem to visit another Olmsted Scholar, Jenn, who has been in Jerusalem for 18 months now, so we not only wanted to meet her and get some good info about moving to Israel, but also to have her take us around her city for a day. This is where the New Testament came alive before our eyes, its hard to explain unless you have been there, but let me know if you want to talk about his more ;)
We explored the Old City and the “typical” Jerusalem churchs. We are thankful she spent the day with us and we can’t wait to see more of her and her fiancé when we move.
We literally only spent 4 full days in Israel, and with those 4 days we fell in love with our new “HOME”
Again, can’t believe this is happening and again, we are SO thankful to the foundation for allowing us this opportunity!!!